HELP | 31.07.2002 20:44
In two days of talks beginning Thursday, the monarch hopes to persuade the United States to step up its timetable for Palestinian statehood and for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza.
This new peace hope is now shattered by this intentionally well timed bloodthirsty Palestinian attack.
SEVEN DEAD, 86 WOUNDED IN HEBREW UNIVERSITY BLAST
By TOVAH LAZAROFF AND STUART WINER
An explosion rocked a cafeteria at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem at lunchtime Wednesday, killing seven people and wounding 86, rescue officials and media reports said.
As of 9:00 p.m., Israel time, over 40 of the wounded had been released from Jerusalem-area hospitals; 40 remained hospitalized, 1 in critical condition and 11 seriously injured.
Of the seven people killed in today's terror attack at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, two were Israeli and five were foreign nationals, reports Israel Radio.
Lavina Shapira, 53, of Jerusalem, and a young Israeli, not yet identified were killed.
One of the dead was an American, said Dr. Yehuda Hiss, head of the Israeli forensic medicine center. He told The Associated Press the determination was based on identification papers, but declined to release the name.
A spokesman for the US embassy confirmed that one of the dead was an American citizen. Additional details about the casualties were not immediately available.
The explosion occurred in a cafeteria at the Frank Sinatra Pavilion, a building adjacent to the Rothberg International School, where students from
abroad generally enroll.
Dr. Ovadia Ovadia Shemesh, the Deputy director of the Sharei Tzedek Hospital said that two of the four patients who were listed as being in a serious condition were foreign students from Korea. A spokesperson for the Bikur Holim Hospital said there were Israeli Arabs, tourists from the United States and Turkey among the wounded.
Witnesses initially said a suicide bomber was responsible, but police said preliminary evidence suggested that someone planted the bomb.
The bag with the bomb was placed on a table in the center of the cafeteria, police said. "It was not a suicide bomber," said police spokeswoman Sigal Toledo. The blast brought down part of the ceiling and blew out windows.
The Hamas terror group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement broadcast on Al-Jazeera Television. It said the bombing was in retaliation for Israel's assassination last week of Hamas bomb mastermind Salah Shehadeh in Gaza.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson cancelled a planned meeting with Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin after the terror group took responsibility for the attack.
The explosion gutted the cafeteria, packed with more than 80students, in the university's Frank Sinatra Pavilion, which is the student union building.
Many foreign students were about when the attack occurred, as the site of the blast is next door to the Rothberg International School, where about 80 pupils from the US and other Western countries arrived Wednesday to prepare for the fall semester.
"There was a terrorist and he blew up," a witness, identified only as Shai, told Army Radio. "There is a lot of chaos, a lot of police. It's a mess, there's a lot of wounded."
Sirens wailing, rescue vehicles rushed to the scene, swiftly removing bloodied victims. Sniffer dogs were checking to see if there were any additional bombs in the area.
The wounded were quickly evacuated from the scene and taken to Jerusalem area hospitals, Israel Radio reported.
Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem
Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus
Shaare Zedek Medical Center
Bikur Holim Hospital
These are Jerusalem area numbers.
(With The Associated Press)